John Christie ’70 is 2014 Donald M. Murray Visiting Journalist
Investigative journalist John Christie ’70 has been named the 2014 Donald M. Murray Visiting Journalist at the University of New Hampshire. He will discuss “Leaving journalism’s false god behind” Tuesday, April 1, 2014, at 5 p.m. in MUB Theater I. The talk is free and open to the public.
Christie, editor-in-chief and co-founder of The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, will visit journalism classes and meet with the staff of The New Hampshire while on campus.
“Journalism's false god is the unrelenting striving for page views and click-throughs that has exacerbated our long-standing failure to adequately address the readers' demands for more credibility,” Christie said.
He founded the nonprofit investigative news service based in the state’s capitol, Augusta, in 2009 with his wife, Naomi Schalit, and has served as its publisher and senior reporter. The center has published more than 150 investigative stories about Maine state government that have been distributed as a public service to more than 30 Maine daily and weekly newspapers.
Christie is a media veteran whose 40-year career includes work in Massachusetts, Maine, and Florida as a newspaper writer, editor, general manager, and publisher. He has won numerous awards as a reporter and editor, including twice for best public service reporting in New England from the Associated Press, and he was the primary editor at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of two Pulitzer Prize finalists.
Christie was one of the first journalists to serve as a full-time training editor for a newspaper, a position that included coaching writers and editors on their craft and creating a news writing program for high school and college minority students.
A native of Dover, Christie was a student of Professor Donald Murray and managing editor of The New Hampshire. He is the editor of four books, including a bestselling book on Hurricane Andrew. His freelance work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Boston Phoenix, Boston magazine, Yankee magazine and elsewhere. He has spoken on newspaper management and writing in the United States, Europe and South America.
He has served as a visiting faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, past president of the Massachusetts State House Correspondents Association, past president of Maine Newspaper Publishers Association, and on the journalism advisory board at Florida International University.
The Donald Murray Visiting Journalist Program is named in honor of the late Donald Murray, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who started the UNH journalism program in 1963. Terry Williams ’80, former publisher of the Telegraph of Nashua, led the fundraising drive for the program, with primary support coming from The McLean Contributionship and from UNH journalism alumni. The Donald Murray Visiting Journalist Program brings accomplished alumni journalists to campus each year for week-long residencies during which they conduct classes, work with students and student media, and give a public lecture. Recent visiting alums include Pulitzer Prize-winning Kevin Sullivan '81; Dana Jennings, ’80, of The New York Times; and Chelsea Conaboy,’04 of the Portland Press Herald and formerly of the Boston Globe.
The program is sponsored by the UNH Journalism Program, the UNH English Department, the Telegraph of Nashua, and the McLean Contributionship.